Have you never had a truth within you that felt needed to be spoken, even though it disagreed with the herd? Did you face your fear and speak your truth anyway? Or did you hold back, afraid that speaking your truth would cause you to be judged and alienated by those around you? Either way, I would wager that we have all found ourselves in inner possession of a truth that we were afraid to share. The evidence presented online last week with regards to this birthday invitation tells me that this fear is justified. Many of you out there engaged in the very behavior that held you back from speaking your own truth. Can you see that you are standing in your own way?
You see, I believe that the things that scare us are a mirror to the parts of ourselves that we are afraid to face. We judge others because it makes us feel powerful. We find righteous justification in throwing proverbial stones at another for doing or saying something that puts them out of sync with the flock. If we participate in this shaming, then we ourselves must be free of fault. This is implied in our participation with the tide of shame and judgement that roared through the blogosphere this week. It feels good to be part of the crowd. We are comforted that we are not the ones being shamed and so we shame others, so that we may feel that sense of belonging.
The truth is, in doing this, we are only treating a symptom that points to a bigger problem.
What is that bigger problem?
Well, I'm so glad you asked.
The bigger problem is that we are blind to our own faults, and if we do see them, we are busily engaged in either denial or self-loathing in relation to them. Both of these behaviors are signs of fear. Yes, that's right: Fear. We are afraid that this broken, faulted, less-than-perfect person who hungers for love and approval in a world of judgement and shame is all we will ever be. We blame our parents, our spouses, our children, society, anyone but ourselves. This is the trap that our minds build for us, keeping us struck.
Have you ever wondered if this is all there will ever be?
The answer is only if you allow it to be.
There's a catch, though.
In order to free yourself of the fear that is keeping you stuck, you have to look it full in the face, take responsibility for it and own that it is a part of you. That's it. In that act of courage and self-love lies the power to create change.
The judgers, the shamers, the outright haters, I see you. I know that you are afraid. Even if you don't know it yourself, even if you have spent so much of your life denying it that you no longer acknowledge that it exists, I see you. I see your fear, I see your despair, and I know that feel as though this is all there will ever be.
I am here to tell you otherwise.
You see, us women, us mothers have the power to change the future. We have in our hands the very tools that we need to stop fear, hatred and judgement in their tracks, take back our world and create a future full of abundance, love and happiness for all of mankind. We were given these tools the moment we became mothers. These tools are three -- our children, our motherhood and our membership in the community of mothers.
They say that it takes a village to raise a child. I will take that one step further and say that it takes a community to make a mother. This mother has been alienated, forever to feel shame and fear in her heart for speaking her truth. In disempowering her, you have disempowered all of us. All of those who feel fear in their hearts about speaking their unique truth are a little deeper silenced by the reactions of the online mom community to this woman.
You may not agree with her, and her choice of action may not be what you might have chosen, but it was spoken to her circle of friends and family, and this is all we know. We, as readers, know nothing more of this mother than this letter. We do not know her history, or the path that led her to write this letter. The object of your judgement is a thing taken completely out of context.
So, I invite all of you to look into yourselves, seek your own shortcomings and fear, and then ask yourselves if you would want your own shortcomings laid bare for the online community. If the answer is no, which I am confident it is, I invite you to find compassion in your heart for the shame this mother has experienced. I invite you to seek the positive intentions behind the words of another that you might otherwise judge harshly. Raise one another up instead of shouting one another down. We are strong; together, we can be incredible.
When we come from a place of compassion and understanding, we can truly change the world. It won't take one of us. It will take all of us.
I invite you to share your thoughts and responses in the comments. Add the hashtag #mommunity. I look forward to joining the conversation.